Move over pancakes! Not today waffles! This Mother’s Day why not try something special for mum and whip up a batch of homemade crumpets? Crumpets are quite unique in a way, they are not like any other bread or batter product. They have a very special texture and the signature honeycomb like bubbles give them a light elasticity to them that is like no other.
Serve them sweet, serve them savoury, a beautifully made crumpet can be topped with anything. Your imagination is your only limitation.
Before you get started, let's check the pantry and kitchen for a few items you will need.
Dried yeast. This is one of the active ingredients that helps make the crumpets rise.
Metal egg rings, cookie cutters or crumpet rings, around 10 cm in diameter and at least 2 cm deep. These will give the crumpet it's perfectly round shape and keep the crumpet batter even when cooking.
• 400 ml milk
• 100 ml water (boiling)
• 350 g self raising flour
• 4 g dried yeast (1 tsp)
• 4 g castor sugar (1 tsp)
• 2 g bicarb-soda (½ tsp)
• Pinch of salt
• Spray oil or butter for cooking
1.) Take approximately half of the milk (200ml) and add the 100 ml of boiling water. This will bring the cold milk to a warm temperature for activating the yeast.
2.) Add the yeast and the sugar to the warm milk and stir well to dissolve. Set aside in a warm part of the kitchen and allow the mixture to become frothy and foamy. Around 10 - 15 mins
3.) In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt and mix well to combine. Make a well in the center. Add the frothy yeast mixture and the rest of the milk. Gradually pull the flour into the well and mix together until a smooth batter forms. Set aside and allow the mixture to bubble and rise. Around 45 mins
4.) Spray your egg rings or moulds with spray oil or rub lightly with butter. Use a heavy based frying pan, spray with cooking oil and heat over a medium temperature. Place the greased moulds in the pan and add 1 cm of crumpet batter to each ring
5.) Gently cook them until the bubbles burst the surface and the batter starts to set, around 3-4 mins. Remove the mould and flip them over and cook on the other side for a further 1-2 mins
6.) Remove from the pan and cook your next batch making sure to re-spray your moulds
You can make your crumpets in advance and simply toast them in a toaster or under the grill of the oven before serving. Once made set aside or serve.
Now you have your crumpets, what do you choose to serve with them?
Recently, crumpets have been given a new life in restaurants around the world. What was once an old English bakers’ item traditionally served with butter and jam has been transformed into a delicate menu item, served with everything from chicken and truffle, seafood and caviar or an assortment of different ice creams and fruits as a dessert course.
Here are a couple of simple ideas and recipes to serve with your crumpets.
Moscato macerated strawberries and chantilly cream
Moscato isn't necessary however the light berry characteristics of moscato compliments the strawberries superbly. Any light white wine can be used, even gin or vodka if you wanted to. If you wish to make the PG version, just leave the liquor out of this recipe and replace it with water, it will work all the same.
• 250 g strawberries (1 punnet)
• 100 ml Moscato
• 50g sugar
• A few mint sprigs if available
• 150 ml full cream / double cream
• ½ vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 5g sugar
1.) Bring the Moscato to the boil and add the 50 g sugar
2.) Remove the calyx from the strawberry (the green leafy part) and cut the strawberry in half
3.) Add the mint sprigs and the Moscato liquid to the strawberries and allow to macerate at room temperature for 30 mins until the berries become soft
4.) Place a mixing bowl into the fridge to cool. The colder the bowl and ingredients are, the quicker it will aerate. Think of a block of butter. When it is warm it is soft, when it is cold it is firm. We are trying to trap air between these particles
5.) Add the cream, sugar and vanilla to the bowl and whip to a soft peak stage. This is the stage where nice soft peaks form in the cream and they hold under their own weight
If you do decide to try this recipe, make these two items the day before. Berries macerated overnight are even better. Be creative if you like, add some dry spices like cinnamon or star anise to your macerating liquid for another level of flavour. Or try another flavour combination like Grand Mariner and orange zest?
Stack the macerated berries high on your warm crumpet, dollop the chantilly, on top then done!!!
Note - If trying with a high concentrated spirit, like gin, vodka or grand mariner 30 mil of spirit mixed with 70 mil of water would be a reasonable ratio.
Crumpets are not just for the sweet tooth.
Loosely put, think of your freshly made batch of crumpets as a fresh baked loaf of bread. Whatever you can think of doing with that bread you can do it with a crumpet. Mini crumpet pizzas, crumpet toasties, crumpet burgers, crumpet veggie stacks, crumpet eggs benedict, bacon and eggs on crumpets, smashed avocado and poached eggs on crumpets, smoked salmon and cream cheese crumpet. The dishes you can create with your crumpets are endless.
Feel like making something savoury for Mother's Day Brunch? Why not try making eggs benedict on crumpets? Here is my recipe for Crumpet eggs benedict with homemade hollandaise sauce.
Crumpets. Poached eggs. Bacon or ham. Hollandaise. The perfect savoury breakfast or brunch.
Although the science and steps behind making hollandaise sauce may seem challenging, in fact it is quite simple and well worth it. Make it once and you will never buy hollandaise from a packet again.
• 10 ml White wine vinegar
• 2 egg yolks
• 150 g clarified butter, melted
• Salt - to taste
• White pepper - to taste
1.) Heat a pot of water and find a suitable sized bowl to sit on top of the pot
2.) Add egg yolks and vinegar to the bowl and whisk overheat until thick and creamy. You may need to do this on the heat and off the heat. Too hot and the eggs will scramble, too cool and they will not cook. They will become thicker and double in size. The best tip is to go with caution and heat it gradually. You can always continue to heat it more, once the eggs become scrambled, its too late.
3.) Once light and creamy, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly
4.) Gradually add the melted butter while whisking continuously until completely incorporated and combined
5.) Season with salt and pepper and lemon juice
Toast your crumpets, poach your eggs, crisp your bacon, spoon on the hollandaise and now you have a new take on an old classic using crumpets. Enjoy!